Do512’s Restaurant of the Week: Fonda San Miguel


In Austin, TX, we can go on and on about Mexican food, Tex Mex and Traditional Mex alike. Try throwing a stone and having it not hit a taco truck or Mexican restaurant. It’s pretty darn tough! As most of these are new establishments are serving cutting edge new twists on Mexican, there are a slim few that retain the traditional magic of our neighbor down South. Fonda San Miguel is Austin’s award-winning interior-style Mexican restaurant that’s widely recognized for its exquisite and authentic Mexican cuisine and an extensive collection of intricate art. Opened in 1975, it’s unarguably an Austin institution, owned by Tom Gilliland and Miguel Ravago and celebrating its 40th anniversary this year!

Considered by many as “Austin’s most beautiful restaurant,” owner Tom Gilliland’s collection of museum-quality artwork, exotic plants, and international décor complete the exquisite dining experience. The interior invokes feelings of sitting in a tropical Mexican hacienda, with colorful textiles and rich history behind every piece of art. The beautiful bar is a must-stop for a cocktail before dinner, and the entire restaurant has a magical feel to it. Fonda has some of the friendliest service you can find, and don’t be surprised if you leave with new friends. The restaurant pioneered “interior Mexican” cuisine in the U.S. being one of the first in the nation to introduce the full-flavored and more complex specialties from Mexico’s interior regions. Fonda San Miguel is a celebration of this distinctive cuisine, its colorful history, and the transforming influence it has had on Mexican restaurants across the country, where culinary connoisseurs, art lovers, visiting celebrities, and guests of the local Mexican consulate all come to partake and enjoy.


The menu is where the restaurant truly shines. Featuring authentic and timeless recipes, the quality is unmatched. What’s even more special is that founders Tom Gilliland and Miguel Ravago along with former Austin Chronicle Food Editor, Virginia B. Wood have put together a cookbook featuring more than 100 of the restaurant’s traditional recipes over the years. Sometimes there’s those nights when you just don’t want to battle with the traffic in the city, so why not share the magic of the restaurant with family and friends by taking your own crack at the recipes?! Plus, it’s one heck of a thoughtful gift for culinary enthusiasts.

One of the stand out Do512 favorites featured on the dinner menu is the Relleno de Picadillo. If you’ve never visited the restaurant before, this is a perfect introduction! A roasted poblano lightly battered and pan-fried, filled with shredded pork, almonds and raisins and served with a Jitomate sauce, this dish provides just the right amount of savory and spicy.


Fonda’s Rellenos

And of course, no Mexican meal is complete without enchiladas. Fonda San Miguel offers unique Enchiladas de Pato, enchiladas with shredded duck topped with a poblano-spinach sauce. And their Cochinita Pibil is the best you can find in Austin, a Yucatan specialty of pork baked in banana leaf. Their menu also features a variety of meats and fish cooked in the traditional Interior Mexican style.


Conchinita Pibil

After a scrumptious meal, there’s no better way to end it than with dessert and Fonda San Miguel, and y’all, they’ve got the BEST Tres Leches cake. Another stand out and Do512 favorite is the Crepas De Cajeta — crepes sauced with rich goat milk caramel and toasted almonds served with cajeta ice cream. If you are feeling adventurous, look no further! You won’t be disappointed.

Fonda Tres Leches

Tres Leches

Looking for a great Happy Hour? Fonda San Miguel has you covered! On Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 5pm-7pm  in their beautiful bar & patio, indulge in $1 off house & frozen margaritas and half off select appetizers on their Antojitos menu. Some of their amazing “antojitos” (Spanish for snacks) that are half off include Angels on Horseback (three grilled shrimp with white cheese, jalapeño and wrapped in bacon, served with house-made escabeche), Calamares with chipotle mayonnaise, their traditional and amazing Ceviche las Brisas, Cordero (grilled baby lamp chops with chile pasilla salsa), and the Torre de Botanas is perfect for sharing with friends.

Angels on Horseback credit Ashlyn Allison

Angels on Horseback. Courtesy of Ashlyn Allison.

Tuesday night is certainly a stand out at Fonda San Miguel, so mark those calendars. Happy Hour is ALL NIGHT every Tuesday! $4.95 margaritas and select glasses of wine and half off select appetizers. No doubt this is one of the best in Austin! PRO TIP: Order up the Numero Uno Margarita before you even open the menu. A delectable concoction of T1 Reposado Tequila, Grand Marnier Centenaire, agave nectar and and freshly squeezed lime juice, this marg packs just the right amount of punch and is full of flavor.

One of the standouts at the restaurant, Fonda’s Sunday Hacienda Brunch Buffet is a feast for the soul! Featuring a sumptuous variety of dishes ranging from the more traditional to exciting takes on ancient recipes. Brunch is from 11 am to 2 pm on Sunday.


Sunday Hacienda Brunch Buffet

If you are looking for a true traditional and authentic Mexican dining experience, Fonda San Miguel is a restaurant that should not be overlooked. With 4o years of perfection behind them, the restaurants is one of Austin’s mainstays. Jump on over to Do512 for your chance to win a $25 gift card and have yourselves a feast!

– Contributed by Matthew LoCoco — 

Fonda Exterior


7th Annual Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam, 5/31

Play ball! It’s time for the 7th Annual Reckless Kelly Celebrity Softball Jam. If watching your favorite Texas Country music artists go head to head in an intense game of softball for an awesome cause is your thing, snag tickets to watch it all go down at Dell Diamond on May 31.



The annual Softball Jam is Reckless Kelly’s effort to raise money for Austin’s youth. Over the past seven years, they’ve rocked their way to raising over $300,000 for youth sports programs and the renovation of Mabson Field.

Confirmed performers at this year’s game include Jack Ingram, William Clark Green, Whiskey Myers, Kyle Park, Charlie Robinson and many more! All-star celebrity athletes and media personalities are also among the Softball Jam’s competitors. Check out how it went down last year:

Not only will your ticket purchases help the little ones of ATX get their game on, but you can also drop your gently used bats, balls, musical instruments and other sports equipment at the gate for donation. Donors will receive a pair of tickets to a Round Rock Express game! Snag tickets and check out the full list of appearances on

Memorial Day Salsa Cook Off at The Ginger Man

Via The Ginger Man on Facebook

The Ginger Man is a wonderful place for specialty beer enthusiasts, and a haven for those wanting to escape the 6th Street madness while still enjoying downtown Austin! Their beer garden is the perfect spot to enjoy a beautiful Austin day while sipping some delicious brews.

You’re in for a treat at the Memorial Day Salsa Cook-Off on Sunday, May 24th. Salsa enthusiasts will be gathering and supplying you with only the best salsa you can find around town. There will be live music, a silent auction and we think the best part of it all is the proceeds and benefits go toward a great cause — Blue Dog Rescue!


Those entering the salsa contest will compete to win a $200 cash prize, which may be your car payment, electricity bill, or hell — that’s almost a 3-day pass to ACL! If you’re interested in participating, contact the Ginger Man at (512) 473 – 8801 or email

The Ginger Man hosts pretty sweet events all year round, so if salsa isn’t your thing check out their website and find something awesome to do!

Wits at the Paramount Theatre | Watch host John Moe w/ guests Fred Willard, Shinyribs, Carrie Rodriguez


Anyone who says that public radio is boring isn’t listening to enough public radio. Wits, hosted by writer John Moe is one of the funniest things happening on the radio today. As its name would imply, Wits is exceedingly clever at what they do, which is a mixture of musical and comedy improv. This is largely achieved by a variety of fantastic guests.

Veterans of the music and comedy world alike are frequent personalities on Wits. Personalities like Fred Willard (who will be appearing at a live episode of Wits in Austin this Thursday at The Paramount) is an example of the guests featured on this live public radio show. “One of the rare public radio comedy shows that’s actually funny.” (Huffington Post)

The realm of music is equally important to the entertainment factor that Wits puts on display. Musicians like Aimee Mann have, in the past, showed a dedicated commitment to making the music of Wits feel as essential as the comedy. This Austin edition of Wits will feature the musical accompaniment of Shinyribs and Carrie Rodriguez.

If you know anything about Shinyribs, it’s that humor is an integral part of singer Kevin Russell’s music. Whether it be as Shinyribs or his earlier project The Gourds, his music always has a winking nod to it. Why else would a country band like The Gourds cover Snoop Dogg’s ghetto anthem “Gin and Juice”? Carrie Rodriguez is also a performer who grew up playing for rowdy Austin crowds, and is more than capable of bantering with audiences.

For more information on Wits, as well as tickets to the show, click here.

Slash and His New Band are in Austin This Week


Few names in rock ‘n roll inspire the same guttural reaction as Slash. The venerable rock god is making a stop in Austin this Thursday at Stubb’s with his official band The Conspirators: Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums), Todd Kerns (bass) and Frank Sidoris (touring guitarist).

Slash has remained characteristically busy since the dissolution of the oft-troubled hard rock supergroup Velvet Revolver, releasing three albums; one under his own name and two with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators.

“We’ve been playing together for awhile and I think it’s gotten to the point where everybody’s comfortable in our own skins,” says Slash, who has amassed album sales of over 100 million copies, with seven GRAMMY nominations, a GRAMMY award and countless accolades. “It turned out to be a very easy process. We definitely had chemistry from the very first time we entered a room together. It was instantaneous magic.”

Opening for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist will be the Atlanta-based heavy metal outfit known as Fozzy. If you’re unfamiliar with them, here’s a strange fact: Chris Jericho (yeah, the WWF Champion Wrestler) is their lead singer. It’s a weird world, folks.

For tickets to Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, click here. Oh yeah, you can also enter to win free tickets here, so take advantage of that.